Ulva – Tomorrows Wheat of the Seas!

Ulva, a green seaweed, is considered by some to be the “Wheat of the Seas” because of its mariculture potential to produce sustainable food sources and other valuable products. Successful harvesting of Ulva in Morocco by The Seaweed Company is proving this movement from conception to delivery.

Presentation on the successful harvesting of Ulva in Morocco by The Seaweed Company. @SeaWheatCOST. (Credit: Dr Annesia Lamb)

A hundred researchers gathered over 2 days in Cadiz, Spain at a recent conference solely dedicated to discussing this potential – https://seawheatcost.haifa.ac.il/2022-conference/ – ULVA: TOMORROW’S “WHEAT OF THE SEA”, A MODEL FOR AN INNOVATIVE MARICULTURE.

@AnnesiaLamb attended the @SeaWheatCOST Conference 13th-15th Sept in Cadiz, Spain. Presenting project goals and genetic identification of green seaweeds across The Channel as part of the RaNTrans project. (Credit: Dr Annesia Lamb)

Dr Annesia Lamb from Bournemouth University and principal researcher on project RaNTrans was in attendance and presented on genetic identification of Ulva seaweed species. Her work is part of the RaNTrans project that is looking at the nutrient remediation capacity of the different Ulva species and novel ways to reduce excessive nutrients and eutrophication by harvesting of Ulva seaweed and using then to fatten marine worms that are later harvested producing feed ingredients.

Dr Rui Pereira presenting @SeaWheatCOST on Ulva production at a commercial scale and identifying some gaps in moving forward. (Credit: Dr Annesia Lamb)

While there is great potential for use of these green seaweed, it must be recognised that in some areas impacted by excessive nutrients, there is an explosive growth of Ulva seaweed species (termed eutrophication).

The SeaWheat programme highlights “ULVA: TOMORROW’S “WHEAT OF THE SEA”, A MODEL FOR AN INNOVATIVE MARICULTURE. According to the SeaWheatCOST Conference organizers and researchers;
“The ultimate goal is the development of Ulva-based blue-biotech industries and utilization of Ulva as a model organism in European algaculture. The Ulva COST Action will facilitate acquainting the traditional European diet and taste with Ulva, as a new, sustainable, and safe food item”.

Don’t forget project RaNTrans nutrient remediation workshop on 3rd November – you can sign up using this link.